×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Downton Abbey’ Set for December China Release

The “Downton Abbey” movie will get its chance to charm China thanks to a theatrical release on December 13, nearly three months after its U.S. September 20 release date.

The Julian Fellowes period TV series has been an extremely popular hit in China over the years, with audiences in the Communist country drawn in by the depictions of the opulent lives of Britain’s upper class in the show. All six season are available for streaming on the Youku platform.

With what was reportedly 160 million viewers tuning in back in 2014, the show sparked such a craze for British-style luxury that it actually initiated a trend among wealthier Chinese families to employ British-style butlers, creating a boom for butler training schools and agencies. And when Chinese premier Li Keqiang took a trip to the U.K. that year, British prime minister David Cameron gifted him a copy of the script of the first-ever “Downton” episode, signed by Fellowes.

The film, which reportedly cost around $20 million to make, has already grossed $95 million in the U.S. Directed by Michael Engler and produced by Fellowes, Gareth Neame, and Liz Trubridge, the Carnival Films production features the returning cast of the TV series, with stars including Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael. It tells the story of a visit by the king and queen to the Crawley family’s estate, and an assassin who gets in the mix.

The film currently ranks a respectable 8.3 out of 10 on China’s Douban online user review platform, amongst Chinese viewers who have already managed to see it.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Nederland, Amsterdam, 20-11-2019-Opening Night in CarrÈ

    Gender Parity, Inclusion and Young Talent Take Center Stage at IDFA Opening

    The 32nd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) opened Wednesday with gender parity, inclusion, and young talent front and center. Twenty-one year-old Canadian-Vietnamese director Carol Nguyen — whose short “No Crying at the Dinner Table” screens at the festival — kicked off the evening, reflecting IDFA’s commitment to young talent and women filmmakers. Nguyen said [...]

  • David Goyer

    J.T. Petty to Direct Thriller Produced by 'Dark Knight' Writer David S. Goyer

    J.T. Petty is set to write and direct “Appetite,” a thriller produced by “Dark Knight” writer David S. Goyer and Keith Levine. “Appetite” follows a mother who investigates her daughter’s disappearance leading to inexplicable and terrible consequences. Casting is currently underway, and the movie is expected to start filming in early 2020. “J.T. has crafted [...]

  • Dexter Fletcher Bohemian Rhapsody

    Dexter Fletcher to Direct a Movie About Dracula's Henchman for Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher is attached to direct Universal’s “Renfield,” a monster movie centered on Dracula’s henchman and based on an original pitch from Robert Kirkman. “Rick and Morty” scribe Ryan Ridley penned the script. The film will be produced by Skybound Entertainment’s film team, including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst. In [...]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill's Commission Launches Entertainment Industry Survey on Sexual Harassment

    The Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality, led by Anita Hill, has launched a survey of the entertainment industry. Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Senate confirmation hearings in 1991. Since then, in addition to teaching law and policy at Brandeis University, Hill has been [...]

  • Chinese actor Xu Zheng holds his

    China's Golden Rooster Awards to Take Place Annually

    China’s Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival opened in the coastal city of Xiamen with the announcement that the Golden Rooster Awards will be held annually instead of biannually. The Golden Rooster Awards have been held 23 times since they were founded in 1981. The event has been held biannually since 2005, when authorities [...]

  • Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd Jay Roach Bombshell

    Jay Roach on How 'Bombshell' Production Crew Re-Created Roger Ailes-Era Fox News

    “Bombshell” is a fast-moving exploration of the oppressive atmosphere at Fox News in 2016, when Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and eventually, Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) brought down Roger Ailes. Considering more than 200 scenes were shot over 38 days, the film has an impressive runtime of 1:45. Director Jay Roach credits the work of his [...]

  • Little Women Movie

    Alexandre Desplat on Pushing the Boundaries With 'Little Women'

    The slate of awards hopefuls is new each year, but there is always a sense of continuity, of new contenders’ connections to the past. For example, Alexandre Desplat, a strong Golden Globes and Oscar possibility this year for his score to Sony’s “Little Women,” can trace the influence of his predecessors on his work. Growing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content